Mayor Curry Says Technology Is Helping Get 'Serial Trigger Pullers' Off Streets

Sep 19, 2019

It has been a violent year in Jacksonville, and the city's mayor, the sheriff and the state attorney said Wednesday they're working hard to bring the crime rate down.

WJCT News partner News4Jax reports officials showed the mugshots of a dozen suspects who were caught with the assistance of new programs rolled out in 2019, including the NIBIN System or the Real Time Crime Center.

The suspects were charged in 46 shootings using one of the systems, and investigators said a total of 70 guns have been recovered.

According to the Sheriff's Office transparency website, there have been 93 Jacksonville murders in 2019. The page shows there have been 32 arrests. Four others have been cleared by other means.

News4Jax records, which are based on the transparency site, show there have been 92 reported murders in 2019, one less than the Sheriff's Office reports. That's because the Sheriff's Office includes Iyana Sawyer's death in its 2019 count. She disappeared in December 2018 and police say she was shot to death, though her body has not been found.

Based on the violence, the mayor, state attorney and sheriff agree Jacksonville has an uphill battle when it comes to fighting crime.

"We didn't get here overnight, and we're not going to solve this overnight," said Sheriff Mike Williams. "What you have to look at is, do we have proactive strategies in place that are really evidence-based, and are we having positive outcomes? The answer is yes."

Sheriff Williams also spoke about Shot Spotter technology, which alerts officers to gunfire.

Mayor Lenny Curry said the technology in use at the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) is helping get "serial trigger pullers and violent criminals off the streets." Curry also praised a program that was introduced earlier this year.

The mayor also highlighted the Cure Violence program, which uses former convicts to reach out to those at risk for being involved in violent crimes.

"So far this year, Cure Violence has had a positive impact on our target areas," Curry said.

An expanded version of this story that includes a video report and comments from State Attorney Melissa Nelson is at News4Jax.com.